Veterans put it all on the line. They fought in wars foreign and far. They risked their lives to defend countless people across the country. At home and abroad, veterans were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Many of their fellow fighters did.
Sadly, many veterans return in terrible shape. Many veterans are physically scarred. Many more are also emotionally scarred. Memories of combat and war can be haunting. Some veterans struggle significantly, every single day, to deal with these demons.
By and large, veterans have suffered. Veterans suffering from disability deserve better.
This is why veterans lawyers exist. A good attorney for disabled veterans can make a world of difference. A veteran’s life may change forever.
Why Hire A Veterans Disability Attorneys?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a federal agency that provides widespread healthcare services for eligible military veterans. There are numerous VA medical centers and outpatient clinics throughout the U.S. Each one is provided to help veterans with their common and uncommon health concerns.
However, the VA does not merely provide healthcare services. The Department of Veterans Affairs also provides services such as disability compensation and educational assistance. There are many other forms of assistance and benefits that the VA provides for eligible veterans.
Many eligible veterans who are disabled need help in obtaining benefits. When disabled, a veteran must demonstrate the extent and severity of that disability. Although disabled veterans may think it’s easy to qualify for benefits, this is not always the case.
The VA is a large bureaucracy. It makes mistakes. There is corruption. Oftentimes, the criteria are complex. Many veteran claimants will make mistakes in applying. These critical errors can be costly. Without benefits compensation, many disabled veterans will suffer.
This is why a VA Disability Attorney is so helpful. A top disability attorney can literally mean the difference between life and death.
VA Disability Compensation Benefits
For veterans who are disabled, the VA offers specific compensation benefits. This VA disability compensation is paid typically in monthly, tax-free payments. In order to receive these benefits, disabled veterans must demonstrate that they got sick or injured while serving in the military.
Veterans who had previous conditions may also receive compensation if military service made the conditions worse.
Qualifying conditions do not need to be physical. In fact, many qualifying disability conditions are mental. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a commonly qualifying mental condition. This condition can develop before, during and after a veteran has served.
Other veterans are physically impaired as the result of injuries from war and battle.
The best VA Disability Lawyers recognize what kinds of injuries are qualifying. Moreover, the top veterans attorneys also understand how to best present pertinent medical information. In some cases, specific illnesses may develop with long-term health consequences. A veteran may endure multiple illnesses and disabilities as a result.
Qualifying For VA Disability
Once a veteran applicant has established an illness or injury that affects the body or mind, the veteran must consider important requirements. Firstly, the veteran must meet the following two criteria:
- He or she served on active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training, and
- He or she has a disability rating for a condition related to service
Secondly, the veteran most demonstrate at least one of the following:
- He or she became sick or injured during military service, and can link this condition to the current illness or injury, or
- He or she had an illness or injury prior to military service, which service made worse, or
- He or she has a disability linked to active-duty service that didn’t appear until after service concluded
The VA will also evaluate disabilities already diagnosed by a medical professional. If the VA determines these disabilities to be linked to military service in some way, the VA may award disability benefits on that basis.
Typically, these disabilities include three types:
- A chronic illness that displayed 1 year following discharge, or
- An illness related to contaminants or other hazardous materials, or
- An illness resulting from status as a POW
In many cases of disability benefits, the VA covers veterans and qualifying dependents.
An applicant may also be able to earn disability benefits from illnesses such as hypertension, arthritis and diabetes. If these illnesses began within a year following discharge, the VA may determine that they’re related to service.
Certain diseases are called “presumptive diseases.” When a veteran has one of these illnesses, the veteran does not have to prove that the illness started during, or within one year, of military service. In these cases, the VA automatically assumes that the illness resulted from service.
The VA can be very strict with the disability for which it pays benefits. Many of these disabilities have to be listed. If they are not listed, an applicant may have to demonstrate additional impairment to be approved for compensation.
This is where sound veterans lawyers can help. A good disability advocate will understand the nuances of the laws.
The VA also typically covers emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression. The VA will frequently address traumas such as brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder too. Moreover, the VA also often addresses chronic issues such as back pain and cancer. Overall, the VA may deliver benefits for a variety of well-known conditions associated with military service.
Based on a veteran’s disability, the VA will assign a so-called disability rating. This rating is calculated through a number of factors.
Understanding The VA Disability Calculator
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) closely analyzes each benefits claim and case. The VA will assign every applying veteran a disability rating based on the disability’s severity. This rating allows the VA to determine a veteran’s compensation rate for benefits. All benefit rates are derived from multiple pieces of evidence.
A VA claim calculator can help veterans approximate these values.
Firstly, the VA examines medical documentation. These include physician notes and test results. If the results are fairly good, the VA may not find the condition very disabling.
The VA will also base the disability claim on the findings of a VA claim exam. Although not all veterans take this exam, this assessment can help further establish disability severity. The exam is typically required of veterans who did not provide sufficient medical evidence for determinations.
During the exam, physicians will deliver basic tests and questions. The examiner will also review the claim file and explore additional testing, if necessary.
The VA will use both the results of the VA claim exam and previous medical documentation to help make a determination. Additionally, the VA may seek deeper information from federal agencies. When a veteran has multiple disabilities, the VA will use a Combined Ratings table to calculate the disability percentage.
Technically, a veteran can receive a disability percentage ranging from 10% to 100%, rounded to the nearest 10%. The Combined Ratings table can be confusing for many veterans. This is why a seasoned disability attorney is so crucial.
The best veterans attorneys will be able to analyze these calculations to determine if the VA is providing a full and fair disability rating.
Disabled veterans should seek the best attorneys available to help with these issues. If a veteran is denied, he or she should appeal with the help of legal counsel. There are several online databases where a veteran can find a good VA Certified Veterans Disability Lawyer.
Veterans can also search for “Veterans Disability Lawyers near me.”
When appearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), a veteran will need a certified attorney. This accredited VA lawyer can help significantly.
The best veterans attorneys around can win big for a disabled veteran in need